Captain_Maj is a user on Kabam Community Forums who has written out a multipart guide that is very useful. It is reproduced here in one piece, for everyone's benefit.
Play Like Maj Ch. 1 - Personality and Gems Edit
INTRODUCTION- Avast me landlubbin sea donkeys.Edit
First off, who the heck am I and why am I writing this guide? Simply put I'm just another player like you who has a bit better grasp on the game then the majority of its players. Am I the best?!?! Not at all, there are players out there that are much better then me. I'm fortunate enough to have many of them in my alliance “Pirates Code”. Arrrrrrrr!
I'm writing this guide for the hundreds of people who have asked me for advice during my time playing the game. Simple as that. Its not an end all be all guide for domination of KOC:BFtN.
PERSONALITY- Harrr, where be me bow-legged wenchs?Edit
Before we even start to talk about the game we need to talk about what kind of player you are. Actually, what kind of player you should be is probably more important. From my experience aggressive always beats defensive. You have to understand that 95 out of 100 people are passive players. No matter how much you hit them they wont hit you back. They would rather try to talk you out of attacking them then risk losing more by attacking back. Just imagine you just got punched in the face. What will your reaction be? If its taking out a pen and paper and writing a really nice flattering letter to your opponent then you're on par with the average KOC player.
Its in peoples nature to be more defensive, yet as the ages have taught us, a good offense is better then the best defense. Action always beats reaction. A person who's waiting for something to happen so they can react is always one step behind. This is the trade mark of a poor alliance leader. As a leader people trust you to make the right choice, but most people wait until they have no choice at all. Usually the key id feature of someone who lacks the trait to create action is someone who is constantly planning the perfect attack.
Be a professional killer. This is something that I've learned throughout my time in naval special operations. Be humble, never threaten someone, never brag about what you've done or could do. If you're at the point where you want to threaten to attack someone then do it. People threaten to destroy me all day long. Maybe one day it'll happen, but not by one of them. Being a professional is about behaving in such a way that shows people how good you are without having to brag about it or trying to prove yourself with words. If you're good people will notice it. You can be confident, and some people mistake that for cockiness, but you cant win them all right?
Being a good global chat warrior is fun and takes a lot of finesse but its beyond the scope of this guide, and frankly rarely amounts to anything tangible.
This is a game, like any sport nobody likes a bad loser or a flamboyant winner. You're a professional, attack for reasons that make sense to people. “You're a good farm” is a legit reason. Don't attack just because you can. You create true enemies that way. Do it enough and the whole server will be against you. Always be true to your word, even though others will try to make it seem like you weren’t. Never lie to make yourself look better, even when others insist you lie about everything. These are all things that help people respect you, even if you just destroyed their best friend. What fun is being on top with nobody to praise you for it?
In the end you're just playing a game and enjoying it right? If you can show that without being disrespectful, arrogant, insulting, any other completely negative trait, then you can farm people to your hearts content and still be in a good position. Prove you're good through you actions, not your words, and people will respect you more.
GEMS – Spending yer hard earned booty.Edit
First thing I'm going to talk about is Gems. Many people seem to think that buying gems is cheating or unfair. This is a free to play game and the developers are spending time on it to make money. The way they do that is through gems. In a sense the game is designed for every player to use gems. By buying gems I'm directly supporting the company that is developing the game that I enjoy. If you get a free ticket to a football game do you expect to be sitting in the front row?
Whether you think gems are fair or not there’s one simple truth about them. Gems don’t make a good player, but a good player uses gems. Now you can either buy them, win them, or tapjoy them. If I had more time than money I'd certainly use the tapjoy option.
So now that you've got your precious gems what should you spend them on? There are a few things, first of course is a second city. After that, the only thing you cant compete without are leveled up knights. They affect everything from your build/research speed to far more important things like troop training speed and troop attack strength. At a minimum you're going to want a level 200+ knight for attacking alone. You'll want a second lvl 200+ knight in your second city for resource generation and troop training. You'll need two divine inspirations to make your knight halls level 10.
Why is this so important? Look at it this way. Imagine that a single troop hits for 10 points of damage and had 10 points of health. A knight at level 200 increases its damage to 20 and health to 20. So not only does he hit twice as much but because he can take two hits he can attack twice more. Thats effectively four times as strong as an enemy troop with a level 1 knight. Even putting that fact aside you will train troops 50% faster. Put them together and you have far more troops with far more strength. See what I'm getting at? You can cry about gems all the way back down to 0 might.
If you have more gems then that then keep a stockpile of Bearskin/Stoneskin and Blood Lust/Blood Frenzy enough to use during times when you're making a serious offensive. If you have more then that level your Alchemy Lab and Rally Point, in that order, up to level 10. This will allow you to get another 10% health and attack strength through Poison Blade and Healing Potions as well as send 10k more troops on each attack. Next if you really want to, I did, you can level up your stables and black smith as they give small increases in the training speed of their corresponding troops.
Do not get sucked into wasting your gems on speeding up training, its not worth it. In most cases you'll probably use gems to speed up attacks on big players to catch them off guard or before they can reinforce. Any use other then listed above will have a fairly insignificant impact on how strong you are.
Play Like Maj Ch. 2 - City Building and ResourcesEdit
Before we really get in detail about how you should design your city I'd like to talk for a moment about value. Specifically, what has actual value and what has superficial value. When I speak about value I mean it in relationship to end strength or how strong you are as a result of your effort.
Many players hold “might” as a true measure of value. This is clearly a misguided view when you consider that one player with 1,000,000 might can easily lose to another player with 250,000 might. Do not get caught up in increasing your might just because it puts you higher on the fictional score board.
Others put value in resources which seems to make sense. The more resources you have the more you can build right? In fact ill even coin the term “resource value” to use throughout this guide. Resource value is the value of all of your resources combined. For example, if a troop costs 200 wood 400 ore 800 stone and 600 food that units resource value is 2000. An army of 5,000 catapults has a resource value of 10,000,000. The question then becomes would you defend 5,000,000 resources if it means losing 5,000 catapults?
Any logical person would say no to that question but what about 10,000,000 resources? Should you defend then? How about 15,000,000? The answer isn't so simple but as a general rule you still wouldn't want to defend against those attacks. Why though? What I'd like to show is that resources as well have very little value and that troops are more valuable then the sum of their production resources.
Now that must mean that troops are whats valuable in KOC. Honestly had you asked me this question a month ago I would have declared that true. What I've come to realize however is that troops have superficial value as well. Troops come and go, those lost can be replaced. If troops were so valuable nobody would ever attack. Troops do hold a lot of value however and that value comes from the one resource required to train them that we haven’t yet discussed. Time.
Time is money as they say, or in this case value. This is where we finally start to tie into city building. You should build your city to make the most use out of your time. This means that buildings and research that reduce the amount of time it takes to do something are the most important of them all. Specifically the barracks is the key player when it comes increasing your end strength.
The barracks reduces the time it takes to train troops. Each barracks increases your training speed by about 10% while each level of barracks adds an additional 1%. Because nothing is more valuable then time, having as many barracks as manageable is your ultimate goal in city building.
Before I continue I need to slow down to explain idle population.
There is a big misunderstanding with how idle population works. Many new players run out of idle population and their solution is adding more cottages. This is wrong. Idle population is basically the total population of workers minus the workers that you have already in your resource fields. So you have a bunch of workers standing around waiting for a job basically. You assign them a job when you train troops and once their training is done they are free to be used again.
So the big question is, how many cottages is enough? I know people that get away with as few as three. Most float around four or five. Personally I have six and that’s because I'm busy! Your idle population determines how many troops you can train at once. The less population the more time you need to spend keeping your training queue full.
Limiting your cottages is the main way you'll increase your barracks number. You should also know that both the Relief Station and Round Tower are unnecessary all together so that frees up a couple other spots. After that you can get creative. There are many ways you can eliminate a few buildings to get more barracks but I don’t wanna rob you of your own ingenious city design.
I will say this however. You should at the very minimum be able to train a single tier 3 unit, such as a catapult, in 11 seconds or less. I know people as low as 8, I float at 9 and 10.
Resources are essential to maintaining a full training queue. There are a few ways you can make sure that you have enough. One is to simply farm other players for their resources. If you have enough time to do this then its the best way to get resources. Just remember what I said about resource value. If you spend more resource value in troops then the raid was worth then you're going to find yourself stuck in one place, essentially losing time.
The other way to get resources is to generate them yourself. This is what I do now, because of my limited time spent playing the game (generally less then an hour a day). Most people are going to have a balance of all four resources in each city. This is a horrible design when you talk about resource value. I'm not going to give out the exact numbers but the resource value of splitting the city up this way is around 600,000 per hour per city. The resource value if you only have one resource in each city is around 1,400,000 per hour per city. Big difference right?
The reason that there is a big difference is because of wilds. If you have 10 wilds of the same type you're now generating 500% more from each resource node of that type.
How can you possibly train if you're only producing two resources? Play with friends that produce the others. This is what I do and its worked amazing. If you want to be more self sufficient split your cities and have two resources each. That way you'll be around 1,000,000 per hour per city.
Play Like Maj Ch. 3 - WAR / TACTICSEdit
There was one thing that I forgot to mention in chapter two that I think is fairly important. Its about how you place your assets on the map. Many people place both their cities right next to each other surrounded by all of their wilds. Its like setting up an easter egg hunt and putting all of the eggs under one tree with a giant sign that says, “Here they are!”. Not such a great idea right?
Spread those eggs out! Scatter your wilds over the map so your enemy has to look hard to find them. Try to place them in places that don't have a lot of cities around them, especially around people that you can see as a future enemy. I usually tuck mine in the middle of a group of dome cities.
For your second city its all about the Goldilocks zone, you want to place it far enough away so people wont easily find it but close enough that your merchants can transfer resources quickly. I like mine about 1::30 away as the supply cart travels.
Lets take a moment to talk about war. War comprises of several different elements and I'll talk about two here, psychological and logistical. Logistical is simple, its all of the parts and pieces that come together to allow you to sustain a war. This ties in deeply with what we talked about in chapter two in regards to training speeds and resource production.
Once logistical war begins its not long, usually a matter of hours, before all wall defenses are destroyed. Now its a battle of troops in a game where both parties must decide to fight for the fight to happen. You can imagine that when both are trying to find an advantage actual fights rarely happen. In effect it makes it so you cant beat your enemy unless your enemy allows it. Seems silly right? This is where psychological war begins.
Psychological war is all about killing your enemies desire to be at war with you. Remember when I said 95% of people are passive? What happens when you put a passive person in a room with a bunch of extroverted alpha males? Their stress level increases greatly. Those that desire peace will be stressed under war. The longer the war, the more the stress. That’s what psychological war is all about. Keeping them in an ever present state of war until they start to get exhausted from it. You may also be stressed out but being a professional you'll keep your poker face until your enemy cracks. Also remember about personality, avoid enraging your enemy through global taunts. This will make their reserve to fight stronger and weaken the effect of your psychological warfare.
All's fair in love and war. The only rule in war is that there are no rules. Those that create rules for themselves only hinder their ability to effectively execute in war. If using gems will help you win then use them, if your enemy is planning a giant attack on you at 5pm, consider putting up a dove in your city. They wont know what to do. Send your enemy a message to see if they are on and attack when they aren’t. In the end nobody is gonna remember how you defeated them, just that you defeated them. I get messages all the time calling me a coward because I keep my troops hidden. Not only do all of those do it too but they would be stupid not to.
Now I'd like to introduce the strategy of taking your enemies wilds. I'm not sure if its like this on all servers but on our server it seems to have become taboo to attack a wild, even in times of war. Wilds directly support resource generation and therefor logistical war. Of course I'm going to attack them if for nothing more then that reason alone. Many will argue that it's just an unnecessary even trade since they will attack my wilds as well. That’s about as stupid as saying, “if both hockey teams pull their gollies both teams can score more points.” Ok, that wasn’t a very good analogy but hopefully you get my point.
Here's why I attack my enemies wilds. Its a cost free way to directly attack my enemy in psychological war. Your enemy will want wilds, but you wont let them have them. The longer this goes on the more they will tire of war. Its also a great way to attack their troops as it will cost them many to retake new wilds. Not to mention it feels like an easter egg hunt every time I get on and scan for all those precious red flags. Remember, its all about making a big difference between the care free life of peace and the chaotic stress of war. The greater that gap the more they will start to crave the days when their resources were full while sitting in 23rd place on the glorious fictional scoreboard of might.
That reminds me, resources. As we talked about, resources are not very valuable, but that doesn’t mean you should simply let your enemy take them from you. I recently made the big mistake of not caring so much that I let my enemy steal back tens of millions in resources from me. While this didn’t affect me at all it did affect them. It gave them something to hold as a victory. That said, if you're under attack send off your resources to someone you trust before the attack hits and avoid stockpiling them when possible. In an ideal world you should prevent your enemy from taking anything from you. This is of course a good example of “do as I say, not as I do.” I can be pretty lazy at times.
Finally you should never show any sort of distaste for war to your enemy. Never complain about things like wilds, attacks, or anything. It will only show that their efforts are succeeding.
As far as logistical war goes the rules are simple. You want to maximize the effectiveness of your troops. Only under extreme cases should you accept a 1 for 1 loss in troops. This is where the high level knights come in really handy. Anyone with a weaker knight becomes an easy kill.
Be aware of these three tactics.
One, imagine your alliance just got hit and someone just took your wilds. An attack of 5000 catapults is coming to your city. You can easily kill them by taking your troops off hide so you do it. Two seconds before the catapults hit a full wave of 100,000 t3 units instant attack you, destroying your entire army. What would you have learned?
Two, war broke out when you were sleeping. You wake up, all of your walls and wilds are gone, and some guy left you five messages about how much you suck in your mailbox. You noticed he attacked you but his overall might isnt that high so you in full nerd rage send and all out attack at his city. In dismay you watch your troops get eaten alive by a fully reinforced city. What would you learn there?
Three, you've been at war for a while now and you regularly hit an enemy city every day around the same time. He never defends and you've gotten a good amount of resources from him. Eventually you start just sending large numbers of wagons and a small troop escort with a lower level knight. One day they don’t come back. What would you learn?
Here are your lessons. Do not defend against few with many. Send the rest of your army away before the attack hits and defend with just enough to kill the small wave. Of course only do this when the likelihood of an instant attack is low.
Do not allow emotion to control you decisions. Always scout first. Don't attack if the attack doesn’t make sense, no matter how much you wish you could destroy someone its not worth losing your army. Be very careful about attacking those that are attacking you. It could be a bait, especially if they are making an effort to get your attention in mail too.
Don't be predictable. When an enemy knows where, when and how you'll strike it makes it easy for them to formulate a defense. Don't ever risk sending out a serious attack without using your powerful knights, that way at the very minimum you'll have a 1 for 1 trade. You'll never be on the losing side.
DEFENDING AGAINST PIRATESEdit
I get complaints all day from random alliance we're not directly at war with. My policy is any alliance is fair game for farming. Here is my advice to help prevent you from becoming a target. Stop turning yourself into a good farm. Protect your resources with a storehouse. Don't build large numbers of walls, they are easily destroyed. If we're farming your alliance member that’s inactive, don’t make a big deal out of it, he's inactive. Don't unhide your troops or try to attack back, chance are you're weak and you'll just get destroyed. Make it so its not worth our time to hit you. Oh and one more thing I'm back arrrrr.